The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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For the judge’s eyes only

Mumbai, Aug. 27: A high court judge today said he would view the “objectionable” scenes of the film, Ek Chhoti Si Love Story, the subject of a legal battle between actress Manisha Koirala and producer-director Shashilal Nair.

Justice F.I. Rebello said he would watch the film on August 29 and give his verdict on September 2. He has asked Nair to arrange for the screening of the movie.

In a petition, Koirala has alleged that Nair has used her duplicate in an “obscene” manner, which portray her in bad light. This violated her right to privacy and defamed her in public, the actress said.

The film is about a teenager obsessed with a 26-year-old woman played by Koirala. The film and its publicity material uses a number of semi-nude shots, for which Nair used a double.

Nair, who asked the court to dismiss the petition, said Koirala had full knowledge of the shots and had no objection to them when she watched the film first. He said he had to use a double because Koirala was “too obese” for the shots.

The actress said she had not seen the entire film. Denying that she was obese, she told the court that the film contained vulgar scenes using her duplicate that were detrimental to her image. She added that the scenes and the posters amounted to a breach of contract.

Nair said he had made an offer to Koirala that he reshoot the film, which was made on a low budget, provided the actress paid him 50 per cent of the production costs as damages. But he said the actress had not agreed to the offer.

The producer-director said Koirala — who hadn’t charged any money for the film — and he had been good friends before and there was nothing objectionable in the film.

“Manisha is only cooking up a controversy because she wants to take up politics and thinks this will go against her image,” he said, adding that Koirala’s objections were only made public after the censors cleared the film.

In an order on August 14, the high court had restrained Nair and distributors Shringar Films and Adlabs from releasing the movie until further orders.

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